France may have had Jim Telfer spluttering on his neeps and tatties yesterday but at least Scotland’s grand old Lion got through it without an opponent taking the food out of his mouth.
The story of how the French left Telfer hungry sprang to mind in the wake of CJ Stander’s Roman hat-trick, the first by a back row forward in the championship since Michel Crauste nailed England three times at Stade Colombes way back in 1962.
Two years later, when Telfer made a winning debut against France at Murrayfield, he dined with his opposite number, the aforesaid Crauste. Before Telfer could tuck into his steak, Crauste speared it with his fork and left his opponent staring at an empty plate, dumfounded.
“I never said a word,” Telfer recalled. “He couldn’t speak English and I couldn’t speak French.”
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